Forums » Friday Polls

Friday Poll: What Networking Events Do You Attend?

    • 1325 posts
    October 18, 2019 1:25 AM PDT

    Happy Friday, everyone!

    In his article How to Turn Networking into Prospecting, sales trainer Mark Hunter discusses ways the sales professional can benefit from attending networking events, yet he is careful to distinguish between networking and prospecting, noting that "networking by nature operates on a different timetable than prospecting. When you prospect, you want to begin seeing action in your pipeline on a timely basis. When you meet with people at a networking event, you create and build relationships. There’s nothing wrong with that, but at the end of the day, you have a sales quota to meet and there’s nothing in your quota that says anything about the number of relationships made."

    So for this week's poll question, we'd like to know:

    What networking events do you attend, and how have you benefited from them professionally?

    Looking forward to reading your replies!

    • 119 posts
    October 18, 2019 7:04 AM PDT

    I have belonged to two different B.N.I. chapters over the past 15 years.  Spent 3 years in each one.  It was good for building a few new relationships but never got the business that would have made it profitable.

    Entry level for advertising on my radio station is $15,000 to $30,000 per year and most of the business people in the chapters I belonged to were not big enough to take the plunge at the time.

    There was however, one business in each of those two chapters that did advertise with me and they got a great ROI.

    I recommend these types of networking events for new sales people who just need to get out and meet new people.  I've also discovered that after 15+ years in my city, I am pretty well known due to the relationships I have built over the years and continue to build even without the formal networking events. 

    • 14 posts
    October 18, 2019 10:52 AM PDT

    Over the ten years I've worked in my market, I have attended mixers and meetings of every business association and chamber group in my broadcast area (a total of 9 organizations). I have also actively promoted the station at health fairs, trade shows, county fairs, farmer's markets, and other local events where a booth can be set up. While all of these activities are time consuming, they have resulted in new clients that I might not have had access to if I called on the business in person. A recent health fair I attended, resulted in 3 new advertisers, one of which I had approached multiple times with no success. Overall, I have found that having a booth at an event has netted me more new customers that the business associations and chamber groups. The key to the fairs and events is to promote the stations offerings and talk to the other exhibitors while you are there. These are businesses and organizations that are actively marketing their products/services, often the Marketing contact is there for you to talk to directly. It is important to keep in mind that you are promoting the station, when you talk to a prospect there, find out as much about what they do as possible and follow up on the next business day. Don't discount business associations and chamber participation, as they are a great way to establish and maintain relationships with clients.